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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1986 August; 36(289): 366–368.
PMCID: PMC1960607

A survey of psychotropic drug prescribing


Psychotropic drug prescribing in a group practice was studied retrospectively. Approximately two-thirds of patients considered to have psychosocial problems were being treated with psychotropic drugs. Compared with the remaining patients with psychosocial problems not prescribed psychotropic medication these patients were more likely to be older, to have no children in the household and to have a past history of physical illness but were less likely to have an acute physical problem or to have a social factor contributing to their mental problem. Sedative and antidepressant drugs were prescribed with similar frequency for all age groups but 75% of hypnotic drugs were prescribed for the elderly.

The study provides evidence that while a high proportion of patients with psychosocial problems receive a prescription for a psychotropic drug, general practitioners are discriminating in their prescribing.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Wilks JM. The use of psychotropic drugs in general practice. A report of a year's survey. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1975 Oct;25(159):731–744. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • King DJ, Griffiths K. Patterns in drug utilization--national and international aspects: psychoactive drugs 1966-80. Acta Med Scand Suppl. 1984;683:71–77. [PubMed]
  • Williams P. Physical ill-health and psychotropic drug prescription--a review. Psychol Med. 1978 Nov;8(4):683–693. [PubMed]
  • Hawton K. The long-term outcome of psychiatric morbidity detected in general medical patients. J Psychosom Res. 1981;25(3):237–243. [PubMed]
  • Morgan HG. Do minor affective disorders need medication? Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984 Sep 29;289(6448):783–783. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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